All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate? In order to help you navigate the process of settling an estate, we need to understand what going through probate actually entails.
The entire process is complex and difficult to navigate, but there are some tips that might help you sort your way through this often overwhelming task.
All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate
Here are our top three pieces of advice for dealing with probate when a parent has passed on.
1) Seek Professional Help:
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important that someone who knows the ins and outs of probate is involved in the process from start to finish, even if they’re just advising you as decisions have to be made quickly once proceedings begin.
Who is the expert in this case?
The executor. A good probate lawyer knows all the ins and outs of this process and can help you cope with it in an efficient manner. If you don’t know where to turn for legal advice, ask around, ask friends and family for a recommendation.
Everyone has a role in the probate process, and your loved one’s executor is in charge of making sure that everything goes smoothly once proceedings begin.
They will be responsible for hiring experts who can appraise all assets, pay outstanding debts and be the person who distributes all assets to beneficiaries according to instructions outlined in a will or through state law.
Check out probate laws in your state, because they vary from one location to another. Some states allow anyone named as an executor by a will to act on behalf of the estate without being appointed formally through the courts, while others require that an executor be formally appointed by a court.
You can also hire a lawyer to help you with all this if need be. They’ve probably dealt with an estate settlement at least once in their lifetime so they’ll know exactly what needs to happen and how to execute it properly.
All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate: Stay Organized
Your executor will be organizing the entire process, so stay on top of them by making sure that all your loved one’s important documents are gathered in one location. You’ll probably need to go through their bank accounts and credit cards for accounts to be closed out and money to be distributed.
You’ll also need to gather a list of every person who needs to be notified and inform them of the time and place of the ceremony, whether it’s a burial or cremation, etc.
2) Do Your Homework:
There is so much information out there on how to settle an estate, it can almost be overwhelming. It’s easy to get bogged down with documents and dates, but understand that the process is repetitious, so once you’ve done some initial legwork you’re well on your way to being able to breeze through the rest of it.
What kind of things do you need to keep in mind here?
If you’re helping out with the settlement, how involved will you be? Do you have time to help your loved ones gather all their belongings in order for them to be cataloged and sold? If not, there are services that can do it on your behalf.
It’s important to get a complete picture of what needs to be done and assess how much time you’re willing to devote to the process. You can then begin piecing together a step-by-step guide of what needs to be done, and which people will do it.
The executor is in charge so they have all the say-so over this process, but it’s important that everyone offering their assistance know what they’re getting themselves into.
There’s probably more to this process than you realize at first glance, but once you know what your role will be in all
3) Gather All Necessary Documents:
Some documents are necessary in order to go through probate, so make sure you’re gathering anything and everything that may be needed. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to important legal issues such as this one.
What documents do you need?
You’ll need a death certificate, and you may also have to provide your loved one’s will as well. The executor will take over the process once these pieces of information are made available to them. What else should be gathered?
Open bank accounts like checking and savings for an overview of their financial situation, any credit cards that your loved one had, and how much was owed on them, among other things.
You’ll need to gather or make a list of every person who needs to be notified about the estate when it’s opened in probate. You may also have to provide a list of assets that were held by your loved ones as well, which means you’ll need to know where they stashed their cash and valuables at home.
After You Go Through Probate:
Don’t ignore any outstanding debts your loved one may have had after they’ve died. This is an important part of the process, so don’t be afraid to ask about it if you’re unsure of what needs to be done.
If you’re inheriting any assets from your loved one, make sure you know how to handle them. It’s good to have some experience with this if you want to avoid the hassle of being audited or even having a case brought against you by the IRS for not properly handling matters.
There are many things that need to be done after your loved one has passed on, and it can be a lot to take in. There are many different services that can guide you through the process of settling an estate after someone dies, so don’t hesitate to use them. They will help relieve some of the burdens from your shoulders so you can grieve without having to worry about legal issues as well.
If you aren’t comfortable going through probate by talking with a lawyer or your local government offices, check online. There are many websites and apps out there that walk you through settling an estate step-by-step, and many of them are free. You can learn a lot from these sites, so consider using them if you don’t want to go it alone.
Other articles you may find helpful:
- Alarm Clocks for Seniors: The Top Picks for Easy-to-Read Displays and Loud Alarms
- Best Cane for Seniors: Top Picks for Stability and Comfort
- Best Recliners for Seniors: Comfortable and Supportive Options for Relaxation
- Best Walker for Seniors: Top 5 Picks for Stability and Comfort
- Alzheimer’s Books for Caregivers: Top Recommendations in 2023